Currently, the conversation around sustainable fashion and waste produced by manufacturing clothes is gaining momentum. Do you think this conversation should have started a decade ago? Have we missed the boat?
It’s definitely late, but it’s never too late to change. What we need is education, that makes people understand the dangers of our profit-driven thinking and helps understand a new low impact-driven approach to business. Change is not only in the hands of the manufacturers but more so in the hands of the consumers. Take a stand by choosing ethically and locally made, quality products. And, of course, reuse, recycle and upcycle your clothes as often as you can.
Donating clothes or swapping garments is a relatively newer concept in India and there’s still some amount of hesitation associated with it. How can we create the system/habit where exchanging/borrowing/swapping clothes can be normalised and made to look cooler?
If you have a look at the way we’ve been treating clothes over the past 100 or 200 years, you will realise that the fast consumption of new clothes is actually the newer concept. Handing down clothes to family members is a new movement. It’s still alien to a lot of the population. But all new things take time to settle. I firmly believe that perceptions are going to change and things are going to take a positive turn. Thrifting is a great way to get a better understanding of your personal style and reject trend cycles. It’s a way to get items that don’t contribute to the exploitation of garment worker labor or the earth’s resources. Normalizing this concept is important and we could do so by educating ourselves on this and promoting and encouraging thrift shops, pop-ups, and events. This is a more convenient way to target the Millenials and Gen Z.
How do you ensure sustainability while choosing fashion?
Every good thing needs time and research and so does sustainability. But to make it easier for us to shop ethically, there are some basic checklists. Be a part of the local community that is into sustainability and which promotes sustainable local brands, that’s the power of community! Ask questions to the brands you buy from. Anything and everything regarding their supply chain. Where does the raw material come from, or how do you deal with disposal, etc. Now that’s your power as a consumer! The most important, whether the pricing is worth the item or not. If you buy something which is worth more but at a cheaper price, there is definitely something unethical about the brand. Pricing is the game! And lastly, do a review of your own wardrobe and lifestyle. Match your lifestyle with items you have or need.Your lifestyle is your reality!
Some clothing items are timeless and never go out of style, and can also be upcycled and upgraded. How do you upgrade your old outfits? Can you share a few tips/tricks to do that?
A simple black dress because you can never go wrong with it and always looks elegant. A flowy floral dress for my daytime outings and brunches and a good pair of denim pants. For me, these are my essentials, and I can restyle and re-wear them in many different ways and on many different occasions.
How have you ever borrowed a pre-loved garment from your mom/aunt/friend/sibling and worn it by adding your own twist?
I have so many now, pretty much everything in my wardrobe is either preloved or vintage. I have my three favourites. One of them is a second-hand bag that I wear everywhere, it’s such a good quality item. It’s a tan leather bag picked up at a vintage store in Berlin. A lovely summer dress that my best friend gifted me, it’s now a 17-year-old dress and a jacket that is stitched and upcycled from denim.
How would you define your own sense of style?
I have a very simple mantra: Timeless over trendy. It saves me from constantly having to keep up with the fast-changing trends. I’d say my choices are, intentionally vintage! Reuse, recycle, and upcycle! Besides that, I love basics! Comfortable tees, denim, flowy dresses, and jackets that can be paired with anything and everything. I create my own capsule collection and won’t buy it if I can’t re-wear, wash, love, repeat it!
Watch Evelyn talk about how you can make sustainable fashion choices:
How exactly does your foundation help reduce waste created by fashion?
My foundation Seams For Dreams was born on my birthday in 2015. As I became more popular with films like ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ and ‘Ishqedarriyaan,’ I asked myself how I could use my fame for a good cause. The one question that everyone asked me wherever I went was: “Who are you wearing?” That’s when I realised that what I wear has a massive impact. It’s been an absolute joy to watch how beautifully Seams For Dreams has been growing over the past six years. I have always believed in giving back to society in some way or another and worked towards spreading awareness for responsible fashion and second-hand clothing. I try making constant efforts to spread awareness and make room for second-hand fashion. It makes me wonder if I’m doing enough and what else needs to be done. We believe that every piece of fabric can and should be reused instead of being discarded into landfills. Our organisation aims to give your clothes a second life and new purpose through reusing, recycling, and upcycling.